Chicago has another PGA Tour player. Northbrook’s Nick Hardy earned his membership for the 2021-22 season by finishing No. 20 in the point standings during the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season. It ended on Sunday at the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Neb.
Hardy missed the cut in that tournament but maintained his spot among the 25 who earned PGA Tour cards. Two Northwestern alums, David Lipsky and Dylan Wu, also were in The 25. Lipsky, a 2011 NU graduate, is from California and Wu, a 2018 graduate, is from Oregon.
A stalwart for coach Mike Small’s Illinois teams from 2014-18, Hardy had 10 top-10 finishes on the PGA’s satellite circuit during the pandemic-impacted 2019-21 season. He becomes the seventh Illini player coached by Small to earn full playing privileges on either the PGA or European pro tours.
Though he failed to earn membership in his first attempt at the Korn Ferry circuit Hardy bounced back strong this season. He’ll begin his membership on the PGA Tour when the Fortinet Championship tees off at California’s Silverado course on Sept. 16.
“Nick is going to have a great career,’’ said Small. “He deserves everything that he achieves in life because he’s a thoughtful, considerate and humble young man with world class talent, discipline and commitment.’’
The Korn Ferry Tour begins its three-event playoff series this week and by the time it ends another Chicago player could join Hardy on the PGA Tour roster. Deerfield’s Vince India, a champion in both the Illinois State Amateur and Illinois Open who played collegiately at Iowa, is No. 43 among the 75 qualifiers for the Korn Ferry Playoffs. The top 25 when it’s over also get PGA Tour cards.
Streelman ready for FedEX Playoffs
Wheaton’s Kevin Streelman came up a shot short of making a six-man playoff for the Wyndham Championship title on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., but the strong showing suggests he’s ready for a big run in the ultra-lucrative FedEx Cup postseason series. The first of its three tournaments is The Northern Trust, which tees off on Thursday in New Jersey.
Streelman boosted his FedEx standing from 58 to 53 with a tie for seventh in the Wyndham and he’s well rested after after taking a three-week break after July’s British Open.
The Northern Trust has a 125-player field, all based on the season-long rankings, and the top 70 after its 72-hole run advance to the $9.6 million BMW Championship, which will be played this year at Cave’s Valley in Maryland. It has been held at Chicago courses nine times since the series began in 2007, the last time being at Olympia Fields in 2020.
Only the top 70 in the standings qualifier to play at Cave’s Valley and the top 30 there go to the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta the following week.
While Streelman’s ranking makes him a safe bet to advance to the BMW Championship, Doug Ghim, the PGA Tour rookie from Arlington Heights, needs a strong showing this week to stay alive in the playoffs. He missed the cut by one stroke at the Wyndham to drop from 83 to 86 in the FedEx standings.
HERE AND THERE
While Small will be keeping his eyes on Hardy’s progress he’ll have a big event of his own to compete in beginning on Monday (AUG 23). He’s a 13-time winner of the Illinois PGA Championship, which begins its three-day run at Ivanhoe Club. Small shook off a sub-showing in the Illinois Open to win the Illinois PGA Senior Championship for the fifth time last week at Bryn Mawr, in Chicago…..Former Hinsdale Central teammates Josh Lundmark and Mac McClear captured the Chicago District Golf Association’s Four-Ball title, beating Crystal Lake’s Ethan Farnam and Wheeling’s Michael Fastert 1-up in the title match at Flossmoor. Farnam is the reigning Illinois State Amateur champion.